Rapper Earl Sweatshirt gave an in-depth interview about his new album this week, where he took the time to memorialize his friend Mac Miller.
Sweatshirt worked with Miller closely over the years, developing a bond of creative admiration and mutual respect. This week, he will release his third album, titled Some Rap Songs. In an interview about the project with Vulture, he talked about Miller's untimely death back in September.
"You know, people pass, and they get in your head, if you spent enough time with them," he said. "I think the night he passed, maybe it was the next day, I don't know. I was listening to all the joints that me and him did. I don't even remember the timeline."
In a strange but somehow perfect metaphor, Sweatshirt likened Miller to a pirate ship.
"You know in the old pirate movies, how they gotta throw all this s— off the ship so it goes faster?" he said. "Malcolm was one of those n—s like that, bro. He was moving real fast. A lot of the s— that we hold on to that slows us down, that makes us care about different s— and makes us second-guess? It can make a man complacent."
From a certain perspective, Miller and Sweatshirt came together from opposite ends of the rap music spectrum. Around the time they began working together, Miller's music was considered "frat rap" — aesthetically edgy, but ultimately harmless music for college kids to party to.
Sweatshirt, in turn, was trying to distance himself from the violent, brash imagery of his early work. Having risen to prominence at a young age just as he got shipped off to a rehabilitation school for troubled kids in Samoa, he was not proud of his lyrics, and wanted to show his more thoughtful side.
Sweatshirt, Miller and collaborator Vince Staples came together to do just that. The three of them worked together on projects that not only showed but celebrated their growing pains. When Miller passed, Sweatshirt was one of the first to mourn him on social media.
"THE MAN WAS TOO GENEROUS!" he wrote at the time. "HE EXTENDED HIS HOME TO ALL OF US. PEACE TO THE MILLER FAMILY AND THE WHOLE EXTENDED FAMILY. WE HURTIN."
THE MAN WAS TOO GENEROUS ! HE EXTENDED HIS HOME TO ALL OF US . PEACE TO THE MILLER FAMILY AND THE WHOLE EXTENDED FAMILY. WE HURTIN 😢😢😢😢😢😢😢— thebe kgositsile SRS 11/30 (@earlxsweat) September 7, 2018
In addition to Miller, Sweatshirt lost his father back in January. His new album was reportedly recorded before his dad passed, but Sweatshirt said that the year leading up to its release has been one of confusion and depression.
Earl Sweatshirt's Some Rap Songs comes out on Nov. 30.